Advisors should MAKE you money and SAVE you money
What does a business consultant do for you?
Let me rephrase that. What SHOULD a business consultant do for you?
Regardless of the industry or area of expertise, when you hire someone to help you in your business they should be clearly doing TWO main things.
They should be helping you make money (both in the immediate future and in the longer term
They should be helping you make the right decisions to SAVE you money (most commonly from making mistakes that could cost you thousands).
The first one is simple. How is the advice or activities of your consultant leading you to make money? This is a question you should be asking yourself before you hire someone and also during the process.
It is important here to be pragmatic. Don’t hire someone who is just a ‘yes (wo)man’ to all your ideas or even to what you are currently doing. You obviously need help or you’re keen to grow your business. You want someone who is brutally honest and who keeps your bottom line strongly in mind.
You also want someone with a track record and who’s experienced in the area in which they are consulting. If they don’t have the runs on the board in terms of their own success, how can you be sure they even understand your business landscape?
You must be willing to listen, discuss and make the hard decisions if you are really keen to do what it takes to grow your business. Don’t fall into the mindset that spending money on things that feel good will lead to a profitable business. It is often an uncomfortable experience to do what is needed to be profitable. Liken it to doing the hard slog in the gym to reap the health profits. Enjoy the process.
The second point is also very important. How can your consultant save you money by advising you on what not to do?
The two most dangerous times for a business owner are: when you are cashed up and eager to grow quickly, and when you are low on cashflow and starting to panic. It is these two situations that can lead to making really bad (and impulsive) decisions.
Your consultant is your filter. Your consultant should be your right hand person. You need to trust them implicitly.
They should be asking the questions no-one else will ask. They should poke holes in anything that doesn’t look or feel right. They can even do some research on your behalf and give you an objective overview with options.
Speaking of options, this is something many business owners don’t do enough. I like the ‘rule of three’ ... Get three quotes for everything you are doing. This helps you learn the process or industry in which you are securing help but also cross-check on what each person or company is providing and telling you.
Ultimately, a business consultant should be speeding up the growth process in your business, even giving you a much needed injection of strategy and connections (something my clients all value highly) to take you to the next level.
If you need assistance to take your business forward or have a sounding board of experience, email me directly email@example.com or call 0432 49 02 48.